For some reason one recent Tampa Bay advertisement just doesn’t seem to have a right or clear cut answer for itself. For what ever side of the AL East fence you lay your loyalties, no matter how you seem to slice it, dice it or julienne the argument, this one isn’t going to be that simple. For whichever direction your common sense take you in the departure of Carl Crawford from Tampa Bay, somehow the whole ball of wax just seems to ultimately come back full circle again and again with no clear compromise.
The swirling bi-polar gambit of emotions seem to be taking me from the highs of adulation to the brink of suddenly swirling down through the circling drain towards an ebb tide of constantly churning polar opinions that makes you dizzy by wanting to simultaneously applaud and bang your hands in utter frustration at the same time. Two great minds of thought both good and evil somehow occupying the same brain matter without a sign of mental implosion……yet.
When the idea of a Crawford “TY” note was first mentioned a few weeks ago, the idea in the local fish wrap to give homage to Crawford, it had great merit. I can say I stood behind it 100 % when it was first introduced by a certain Tampa Bay Rays website. The idea was to celebrate the career of Crawford with a hearty send off of “Thank You” from website sponsors and accrued donations sent in to purchase a full page advertisement.
What bothers me here after the scandalous decision of Crawford to go to our bitter rivals, the Boston Red Sox is the fact this one Rays based website took reader donations and contributions to place this ad in the Tampa Bay Times (TBT) Friday publication, then made sure to add their own special footprint to the whole adventure on a Getty Images photo without giving proper credit to the initial photographer.
I used to also do this all the time, but since January 2009 after reading a response by Ted Fleming, a devoted journalist and Rays fan who writes on Examiner.com. Fleming wrote a great comment about photo credits and copyright infringements, and I decided at that moment to always try and add a simple photographers’ credit to all photos not taken directly by me. How many people outside of the Getty Images photo corps know that photographer Dillip Vishwanat took this photo on July 13, 2009? I guess a few more know now.
Here is something Flemming also referenced from from Mark A. Fisher who wrote an article called “Copyright in the Digital Age“. Fisher states the following with photo copyrights/ fair use:
“American copyright law has long offered the copyright-infringement defense of “fair use”. One problem with fair use is that it is a defense against infringement, not a right. Additionally, it has been duly noted that outlets such as the Associated Press, Getty and others have copyright ownership for everything that is distributed by them in print and/or photos.
When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of fair use would clearly apply to the situation. The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may be considered fair nor advise on possible copyright violations“.
There is a gray area there that is being more and more define and being transformed into plain black and white every day by the large photo agencies, like Getty Images and AP. I guess more than a few of us have tried to right-click a photo during the 2010 MLB season from AP and found out quickly that they were not able to save the photo to their hard drive. It is their photo, they paid its creator for the priviledge to isolate that photo to their customers, and for you to not duplicate or reproduce without permission.
Since I began to take my own Rays game day and events (concerts) photos I have a new found level of respect for the guys in the MLB camera wells. I am not trying to condemn the rival Rays website, just trying to nudge them a bit and hopefully enlighten them (and others) to the plain fact that the photographer should get that recognition for their great work. If a Rays fan takes a great shot, I make sure to give them a photo credit…It just seems right.
I know this Rays website took one on the chin today after Drew Fairservice over at Walkoff Walk toasted them a nice shade of caramel with:
“Maybe, just maybe, if you squint your eyes just cynically enough, this looks like it might be more about DRB than Carl Crawford“.
I do see a glint of self promotion here or the ad might never have gotten off the ground. But did you have to make it so blatantly obvious to even someone without a pair of bi-focal lenses that you paid for the ad. I might have been inclined to throw the words “Rays Republic” up there, or possibly just a “Thank You” on the green facade of the outfield wall.
Most of all, I would have been sure to have somehow personally made or photo shopped the name of Vishwanat and Getty Images NA somewhere on that ad, or below the picture to just throw props to the guy who captured the amazing photo.
By the way, I made sure to give a photo credit on the same Carl Crawford’s original All Star game photo back in 2009. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well today, a photo credit would have kept me from writing my own thousand words. I stand up and applaud the intent, then shake my finger at the conclusion. Please everyone, give credit where credit is due…..That gets you the respect of everyone.